How does Japan manage to have such a low crime/murder rate despite banning guns?

Look - we KNOW for a FACT that more guns equals less crime. This fact has been PROVEN by Professor John Lott:,_Less_Crime

The reason is very simple - when guns are banned, only criminals have guns, and citizens cannot protect themselves. Hence, criminals run rampant. Just look at the extreme violence in cities like Chicago and Washington DC that banned guns, before the Supreme Court overturned those bans.

Hence, we should expect to see much more violence and crime in Japan than America, since Japan's gun laws are super-strict. You can get 20 years in prison just for POSSESSING one single UNLOADED handgun. Ammunition brings separate charges.

However, there is something called the "Japan paradox" - Japan's murder rate is more than ten times lower than America's murder rate. Even though it SHOULD be higher.

Why is this?

How can we explain this bizarre paradox?

17 Answers

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Best Answer

    USA has more murders per year than the entire of Europe and Europe has less guns.

    So much for your "bizarre paradox".

    If you had read the page you cited you would see that it says :

    Academic studies that have rejected Lott's conclusions include the following. With the exception of the 2003 study by John J. Donohue, these studies generally contend that there seems to be little or no effect on crime from the passage of license-to-carry laws. Donohue's 2003 study finds an increase in violence.

    * Jens Ludwig, Do Permissive Concealed-Carry Laws Reduce Violent Crime? unpublished draft dated Oct. 8, 1996, on file with Albert Alschuler. Ludwig notes a correlation between PPBF4049 (percent of population black, female, aged 40 to 49) and high crime rates in the data used in the Lott & Mustard crime trends regressions. (This factor is found as a correlation, but is not cited in Lott & Mustard 1997 as a causation.)

    * Albert Alschuler, Two Guns, Four Guns, Six Guns, More Guns: Does Arming the Public Reduce Crime? Valparaiso U Law Rev. Spring 1997. Alschuler notes that while PPBM2029 (as perpetrators of crime) and PPBF64+ (as victims) are strongly correlated to high homicide rates in the dataset used by Lott & Mustard 1997, PPBF4049 is rated more highly as a predictor of homicide rate. Alschuler notes that Lott supplied him with his copy of Ludwig's 1996 paper as well as the Lott & Mustard data.

    * Franklin Zimring and Gordon Hawkins, Concealed Handguns: The Counterfeit Deterrent, 7 The Responsive Community 2 (Spring 1997). Zimring & Hawkins cite recognition of the legitimacy of defensive gun use as an impediment to the socially desirable goal of eliminating private ownership of handguns and set out to criticise Lott & Mustard.

    Both Albert Alschuler and Jens Ludwig note a number of problems in their separate papers. Why, for example, should the concentration of older black women in a population predict higher crime rates in the Lott and Mustard model, but not the increased concentration of young men, age 20 to 29, who are vastly more likely to commit such offenses?

    * David Hemenway, 'Review of More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun-Control Laws', New England Journal of Medicine, 1998.[10] Hemenway's review states

    Lott finds, for example, that both increasing the rate of unemployment and reducing income reduces the rate of violent crimes and that reducing the number of black women 40 years old or older (who are rarely either perpetrators or victims of murder) substantially reduces murder rates. Indeed, according to Lott's results, getting rid of older black women will lead to a more dramatic reduction in homicide rates than increasing arrest rates or enacting shall-issue laws

    * Rutgers sociology professor Ted Goertzel stated that "Lott’s massive data set was simply unsuitable for his task", and that he "compar[ed] trends in Idaho and West Virginia and Mississippi with trends in Washington, D.C. and New York City" without proper statistical controls. He alleged that econometric methods (such as the Lott & Mustard RTC study or the Levitt & Donohue abortion study) are susceptible to misuse and can even become junk science. [11]

    * Ian Ayres, Yale Law School, and John Donohue, Stanford Law School, 'Shooting Down the More Guns, Less Crime Hypothesis'. Stanford Law Review, 2003.[12]

    * Jens Ludwig, Georgetown University, "Concealed-Gun-Carrying Laws and Violent Crime: Evidence from State Panel Data", published in International Review of Law and Economics, 1998.[13].

    * Dan Black and Daniel Nagin, "Do 'Right-to-Carry' Laws Deter Violent Crime?" Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 27, No. 1, pp. 209-213 (January 1998).

    * Mark Duggan, University of Chicago, "More Guns, More Crime," National Bureau of Economic Research, NBER Working Paper No. W7967, October 2000, later published in Journal of Political Economy.[14]

    * Steven Levitt, University of Chicago, 'Understanding Why Crime Fell in the 1990s: Four Factors that Explain the Decline and Six that Do Not'. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2004.[15] Levitt lists 'Laws allowing a right to carry concealed weapons' as number five in his list of 'Six Factors that Played Little or No Role in the Crime Decline'.

    * Jeffrey Miron, Boston University, 'Violence, Guns, and Drugs: A Cross-Country Analysis'. The Journal of Law and Economics, October 2001.[16]

    * Tomislav V. Kovandzic and Thomas B. Marvell, "Right-To-Carry Concealed Firearms and Violent Crime: Crime Control Through Gun Decontrol?" Criminology and Public Policy 2, (2003) pages 363-396.

    * John J. Donahue III, Stanford Law School, 'The Final Bullet in the Body of the More Guns, Less Crime Hypothesis', Criminology and Public Policy, 2003.[17]

    * John Donohue and Ian Ayres. "More Guns, Less Crime Fails Again: The Latest Evidence from 1977 – 2006" Econ Journal Watch 6.2 (2009): 218-238.[18]

  • andy
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Easy, you have to look at the CULTURE. The Japanese tend to have a lower crime rate then most other Nations also. There is no paradox here except people who don't know about the different cultures. Do a study on Japan one of these days, they don't cuddle criminals like the Western World does. By your standards, we should adopt the policies of the Middle East and how they punish criminals.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    I've heard this topic being tossed around between pro-gunners and anti-gunners for quite a while, so I'd like to contribute my two cents: To compare American and Japanese society is to compare apples and oranges. It's not a problem with guns, it's about cultural problems, geographical differences, and racial inequalities. Japan doesn't share a border with a country like Mexico. Japan is also homogeneous and racism is prevalent there. And Japanese, unlike Africans and Caucasians, do not have aggressive tendencies.

    Japan might be a gun grabber's wet dream, but it is a freedom seeking individual's worst nightmare. Everyone thinks the same way; people who seek to innovate and work for cultural change are labeled as dangerous and unstable. The police can search anyone without notice. Japanese women are still regarded as property. In fact, female police officers, unlike their male superiors, aren't allowed to conceal carry.

    Japan's attitude against guns in America is very biased and blown out of proportion by nationalist news media. In reality, Japan's suicide rate is three times that of the United States (China twice and South Korea four times). A Japanese person is far more likely to kill him/herself than to be killed in a mass murder. In fact, Japanese Americans, who have just as much legal access to firearms as their Western contemporaries, are as safe in the United States as they are in Japan.

    If you want to make a case of gun control working in other countries, try picking one whose culture and society are most paralleled to ours.

  • 4 years ago

    Japan has strict laws regarding crime, it has strict laws regarding immigration (if you're a felon, you're not allowed into Japan), the police are the only one's with guns in Japan. The Japanese have always been very intelligent, just look at how they got the torpedoes into the shallow waters of Pearl Harbor in 1941, just look at the technology they have created. Most of Japan is SHINTO.

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  • 9 years ago

    Japan has a low crime/murder rate not because of banning guns, but because of cultural differences. The same cultural influence that allowed Japan to rise from the ashes of WW2 to be one of the leading economies of our time also, for the most part, shuns crime and violence. There are exceptions, but they are just that, exceptions.

    • Guns are definitely a factor. As in the US, if mentally unstable people had access to guns, there would also be mass shooting in Japan.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    [and it [Japan] experienced 1.1 murder per 100,000 population, compared with 3.9 for West Germany, 1.03 for England and Wales, and 8.7 for the United States that same year]

    It seems that not having guns does have an effect... IF, they were NEVER allowed.

    The US is filthy with them however.

    There is a difference in never letting the problem develop, and suddenly making them illegal and expecting immediate results.

  • 0
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    Japan also one of the highest suicide rates in the world. This could be a side discussion to add to your paradox theory. I think you are comparing apples to oranges. In Japan, the whole country has one rule - guns are banned. In the US, every state has a rule, so someone in Chicago or DC could easily travel to place where the rules are less restrictive and purchase a gun.

  • 9 years ago

    Stronger social values. This results in fewer people willing to perpetrate such serious acts and a justice system which comes down harder when they do.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Not related to guns. Japan is family oriented. They are not rife with single moms, child support and social welfare payments. Families take care of their own. Guns are not the only factor. Liberals are claiming that if we had social welfare programs used as little as they are in Japan we would be rioting like France.

  • 9 years ago

    japan is a island or group of island in the pacific and it would be easier to control what comes into the country...take away guns in america and the ability to build them and criminal would bring them in from out of the country..we cant even control our southern borders how would you expect us to control every entry point of a entire continent?

  • Moose
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    For one thing, they learn respect at a very early age.

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